Jim Dobbin - scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I’m a bohemian, self employed doing creative stuff ranging from graphic design, marketing consulting (yes, that’s creative), writing and photography. I have been at various times a: photographer, musician, pilot, flying instructor, lobbyist, marketing manager, researcher, writer, salesman, art gallery manager, graphic designer, marketing guru, and pretty much always been a small business owner of some sort - and all without a degree of any kind. Oh yeah, I do graphics for the Hotel LA in Caxton Street, where they have a great comedy night on Wednesdays and live music and cheap drinks on a Thursday.

Why do you do it?
Lifestyle - I’m a creative, which doesn’t pay the bills, so I need an income that also allows me time to create. These days that’s writing fiction, but I’ve also painted a couple of Archibald entries (Bernard Fanning 2004 and William Barton 2006), play music and fuck with design stuff. I owned my first business in my early twenties, and I’ve gradually made them smaller and smaller where they’re more profitable and flexible - now I can turn on a dime from big to small and back… and I hate being told what to do.

What do you love about the city you live in?
Moreton Bay - we have cruising grounds equal to the well-known ones right here on our doorstep… where else can you sail to a secluded bay - spot dolphins, turtles and dugongs - then follow it up at an island pub and then snorkel among some shipwrecks… responsibly of course? We have a trailer sailer at Victoria Point called Acid - because it’s funny to say we’re spending the weekend on Acid.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
Last year as a whole family we hired a canal boat in the UK dropping into canal side pubs and soaking up some history, then drove around the UK. We dropped into Tokyo for a week on the way, and Paris on the way back… want to see our 6,884 photos from 3 phones and a camera? Or if we take the selfies out there’s 42.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
My Crocs - because they’re so universal. You can wear them at night in front of the TV, out to live music, formal occasions, on a boat or anywhere. Pair them with coloured socks and you have a whole new range of looks; and they always look cool.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid? (If you've got kids, what's your favourite show to watch with them?)
TV wasn’t around when I was a kid - we’d sit around staring and laughing at a stick; and look how we turned out - fond of sticks. With the kids, we’ve been getting into 'Nordic Noir', 'The Killing' and 'The Bridge' - and we liked 'Broadchurch' so much, we went to those magnificent cliffs when we were in the UK.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
Yesterday - so I didn’t have that last beer. I think that was the one that tipped me over the edge or one of the other ones, I don’t want to think about it.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
Cook? Fuck that. Let’s get pizza? I have a favourite - pepperoni and anchovy - that I call Salt & Pepper, but I am trying to find the weirdest combination for tasty, toasted sandwiches if anyone has suggestions?

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
Jack Davey principle. Bite off more than you can chew - then chew like shit.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
I’m really into order and structure, which is odd considering how chaotic and untidy my world is.

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
Shit yeah - I work when I want. I must spend more time with my teenage kids than any father ever, even if I’m not allowed to go to their parties anymore.

How do you define success?
Contentment - not happiness. I think we’re all sold this idea of success being about money, but money has strings. I don’t drive a new car or live in a flash house - I have a Galaxy S3 on prepaid - but everything I have I own. It’s taken a while, but I have no debt, and that is the most liberating feeling short of swimming naked in mud. BTW that’s not me in the Splendour video - I was in the Gold Bar chatting with the likes of Gareth (scenestr national editor).


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